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We Can Make the World a Better Place

For too many generations, children have been looked down upon. They have been treated as an obligation or pests. Children are taught that they were beneath adults and are to be seen and not heard. They are expected to behave at all times and are punished for the slighted mistakes. The result of such an upbringing creates adults who do not know how to express their emotions, how to handle conflict, or know what they want in life. It's no wonder so many adults grow up to have anxiety and experience panic attacks. So many of them are trying to be perfect, to live up to their parent's expectations, and they are finding out that the pressure is too much.

When children are not allowed to express their emotions, they do not learn how to regulate those emotions or the feelings that come with them. When children are told not to cry, they see crying as a weakness. For some, being seen as weak, or less than, can create resentment and anger issues later in life. They resent those who cause them to have those feelings rather than appreciating the love that comes with having such emotions. To become sad means that you have experienced happiness, just as being happy means that you have experienced sadness. We must feel all emotions, the good and the bad because that is what helps us to appreciate the good even more.

Our job as parents is to teach and guide our children. We have to let them make their own decisions. We have to allow them to make their own mistakes. As parents, we should be there to give them advice and guidance, not to tell them how to behave and what to do. If you are constantly telling your child what to do, they are not learning how to think for themselves. They are simply following your orders and doing so to appease you and to keep themselves out of trouble. As these children grow into adults, they will continue to look to others for guidance and direction, rather than making decisions on their own.

As a society, we hold our children to higher standards than we hold ourselves. Children are expected to behave, without fail, or face consequences. Spanking a child teaches them to become physical when they are angry, or if they feel like they are being wronged. It’s no wonder children grow up to fight others when they feel disrespected or angry. Taking things away from children teaches them that only perfectly behaved individuals deserve to have things. When they grow up, they are going to measure their worth by what they own, not by who they are. Putting children in time out teaches them that they cannot be with the rest of the family if they do not behave the way the family wants them to. This is teaching them to conform to those around them.

Let’s instead, talk to our children and find out why they are behaving the way they are. Let’s have discussions about why their behavior may not be what we are looking for. Let’s make our children feel comfortable coming to us for advice and guidance. Let’s teach them how to be good people by being a good person to them and others.

I know that many look at this way of parenting as weak or inferior, but I think that way of thinking is due to a wrong outlook on what it means to be a parent. If we aren’t preparing our children to think for themselves then we aren’t preparing them for life. Our children are our hope for a better future, and we own a huge stake in that future. It is up to us to create a generation of well-rounded individuals who can process emotions, think for themselves, and be good members of society.



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